New taxa and hosts of poroid wood-decay fungi in North Carolina

New taxa and hosts of poroid wood-decay fungi in North Carolina

Grand, L F


In a continuing study of the biodiversity and biogeography of poroid wood-decay fungi in North Carolina, a notable number of species and fungus-host combinations previously not reported in the state were collected. Eleven species of poroid wood-decay fungi are reported as new in North Carolina. Eightyfive species are reported on a new host plant species resulting in 315 new fungus-host associations in North Carolina, of which 231 are new fungus-host associations for the United States.


A previous study of a Piedmont forest site resulted in the identification of five species of poroid wood-decay fungi previously unreported in North Carolina (Vernia and Grand 2000). The survey also revealed the paucity of geographical distributional data for this important group of fungi, and these results prompted a long-term intensive study of the biodiversity and biogeography of fungi in North Carolina with an emphasis on wood-decay species. To the authors’ knowledge, there are no publications that present the geographical distributions of poroid wood-decay fungi within North Carolina. Studies in Arizona (Gilbertson et al. 1974, Gilbertson and Bigelow 1998) provide one of the few instances of published distributions of this important group of fungi within a state. The most recent monograph of poroid wood-decay fungi (Gilbertson and Ryvarden 1986, 1987) provided the distribution of species in the United States by state, as did Farr et al. (1989), in The Fungi on Plants and Plant Products in the United States.

The diversity of North Carolina ecosystems is reflected in its floristic diversity (Radford et al. 1968). Certain wood-decay fungi are highly host-specific (Gilbertson and Ryvarden 1986) and most are host-specific at a class level. The diversity of potential host material combined with the host-specificity of these fungi make North Carolina an excellent location to study fungal biodiversity.

This study reports the occurrence of poroid wood-decay fungi not previously reported in North Carolina and also reports numerous previously unreported host-fungus associations. Preliminary distributions of 16 species in 6 genera of fungi in this group have been reported (Grand and Vernia 2000).


The North Carolina State Parks and Natural Areas system, the Pisgah, Nantahala, Uwharrie and Croatan National Forests, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were used as sample sites. Wood-decay species reported in this study were collected from March 1999 to December 2000.

Specimens of basidiocarps were taken from living trees or decayed wood and placed in paper bags with samples of the substrate and appropriate field notes. Specimens were examined in the laboratory and identified when possible using existing taxonomic treatments (Overholts 1952; Lowe and Gilbertson 1961; Lowe 1966; Gilbertson and Ryvarden 1986, 1987; Brietenbach and Kranzlin 1986). Voucher collections are deposited in the Mycological Herbarium, Department of Plant Pathology, NCSU.


Eleven taxa of poroid wood-decay fungi not previously reported in North Carolina were identified (Gilbertson and Ryvarden 1986, 1987; Farr et al. 1987). In addition, 85 taxa of poroid wood-decay fungi are reported on new hosts. These results significantly increase the range and plant hosts of species in this ecologically important group of fungi. Eighty host taxa are recorded from sampling in 40 counties in North Carolina.


All species listed below are reported for the first time on the given host in North Carolina and where indicated represents a species previously not recorded in North Carolina (*). New host records for the United States are indicated by ^^. The county where the collection was made is indicated in parentheses. Nomenclature for fungi follows that of Gilbertson and Ryvarden (1986 and 1987). Nomenclature for host species follows Kartesz et al. (1980). Recommended standard forms of author names follow Kirk and Ansell (1992).


Results of this study illustrate the considerable diversity in species of poroid wood-decay fungi in North Carolina. The discovery of a significant number of new occurrences and previously unreported hosts emphasizes the importance of continued sampling to further characterize the diversity and geographical distribution of this important group of fungi.


The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by a grant from the Highlands Biological Station and the use of their excellent facilities. Rangers and support staff at all North Carolina State Parks and Natural Areas we visited were gracious and we thank them for their kindness and their efforts to maintain the quality of the State Park System. The comments and assistance of Dr. R.L. Gilbertson are appreciated.


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